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US Trade Deficit Surges to Record High

The U.S. trade deficit surged to an all-time record high of nearly $726 billion in 2005. That is a nearly 18 percent increase over the previous year and the fourth consecutive year the gap has hit a record.

Friday's report from the Commerce Department also says the trade deficit with China was the largest with any U.S. trading partner, rising sharply to a record yearly total of nearly $202 billion.

The politically sensitive China trade issue has prompted some members of the U.S. Congress to accuse Beijing of keeping the value of its currency artificially low, giving its exports a price advantage on world markets.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.